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Is Doc Rivers going down the same nepotism road as Bobby Bowden?

Austin Rivers has his jersey retired during a ceremony at Winter Park High School on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Rivers is currently a guard with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Hopefully, Los Angeles Clippers coach and fellow Orlandoan Doc Rivers isn't turning into FSU legend Bobby Bowden.

In most every way imaginable, being like Bowden would be a good thing, but there's one way being like Bowden could conceivably cost you your job.

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Nepotism — and letting the love of your son interfere with the good of the team.

I'm convinced that the beginning of the end of Bobby's reign of dominance at Florida State is when he decided to hire son Jeff Bowden as offensive coordinator. The Seminoles' offense rapidly deteriorated and the Bowden dynasty began to crumble.

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In recent weeks, there have been reports that Rivers' preferential treatment of son Austin Rivers — a Winter Park High School legend in his own right — is one of the things that drove away superstar point guard Chris Paul. After Paul informed L.A. that he was not going to re-sign with them, the Clippers recently traded him to the Houston Rockets, where Paul will be teamed with fellow superstar James Harden.

After the trade, ESPN's Michael Eaves reported the relationship between Paul and Doc Rivers really went downhill when Doc, who is also the Clippers' team president, declined a trade last season that would have brought Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and, yes, Austin Rivers.

In fairness to Doc, I don't think it's necessarily accurate to say the deal was nixed because he didn't want to trade his son. Couldn't it be he just didn't want Carmelo on his team? And couldn't it also be that Paul decided to leave because Doc didn't want to give a 33-year-old point guard a five-year extension at maximum salary?

Paul, it seemed, was slow to refute the Eaves report, which only fueled the speculation further. Austin Rivers told USA Today he called Paul to investigate the matter and Paul told him something very different than what Eaves reported.

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"I called Chris and was like, 'Chris, what's going on?''" Austin Rivers told USA Today. "Chris is like, 'This is the biggest bull(expletive) I've ever seen in my life.' Chris was just like, 'This is a joke.' So I asked him, I'm like, 'You don't need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don't need you to do that. It's just going to make it even more, now they're going to drag it out two more days. I'll take it. I don't care. I've been dealing with this (dynamic) since I was 6 (years old). I really don't even care.'"

Paul left, according to Austin Rivers, simply because he wanted to play with Harden and the Rockets more than he wanted to play with the Clippers.

"What do I have to do with someone else's move?" Austin Rivers said. "Chris wanted to move because he'd been (with the Clippers) for a while. He's had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It's really that simple."

Let's hope so.

Let's hope two of the most congenial coaches I've ever covered — Bobby Bowden and Doc Rivers — aren't traveling down the same path.

Blood may be thicker than water.

But, in big-time sports, it should never, ever be thicker than winning.

Email me at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on FM 96.9 and AM 740.

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